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Old 06-12-2010, 08:05 AM
wjc wjc is offline
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Default Re: Over Hang Question


I wouldn't worry about the "overhang" at all, period. Unless you are throwing a specialized shooting head with super thin running line. I don't think "overhang" is a major issue to worry about. You will find the optimal length for your line, rod, casting style, and conditions by casting.

More important is to try different lines to find one you like for your rod, casting style and casting conditions/requirements. But don't make the mistake of thinking you have to cast the entire head to get it to shoot.

I lilke the Sci Anglers MED for salt water fishing for bonefish, and often do not even cast the entire head out of the end of the rod while fishing. Yet it shoots fine at a minus 30 foot or more "overhang". The head length on that particular 7 wt line is 72.4 feet.

In fact, that line and weight is the most popular line for the FFF Certification tests even though the longest (of three) different required accuracy targets is only 45 feet away, and the required distance cast is only 75' away.

So for the distance cast, subtracting the required 7 1/2 foot leader requirement and the length of the rod and arm, the total fly line presentation for the distance cast is 60 feet give or take. If the shoot was 10 feet, then the overhang was minus 22 feet or more.

In fact, the night before last, I caught a tarpon that rolled about 40' from the boat with a cast of about a minus fifteen to 17 foot "overhang" using a Rio 12 wt. line.

For me, the longer the head is, the easier it is for me to make good short presentations. So , I use a negative overhang when fishing for bonefish or tarpon much of the time.

I personally do not like the short heads for anything, including large bass bugs or 8" long flies. Other guys use nothing but short heads. But most of the talk I hear about them are from surf casters who cast the same distance nearly every single cast all day long using shooting heads, or bass popping guys who try to do the same thing.

To me, the short heads feel like I'm trying to cast a carriage bolt on long casts and not a fly line. They are too clunky for the type of fishing I do (in my hands). They are too heavy for soft short presentations and too heavy for really long presentations. Again, to me.

Fly fishing equipment is personal preference just like baseball bats. Some choke up some don't. Some prefer Al Kaline bats, others Jackie Robinson. Now that's dating myself I guess. Shouldn't have done that.

Just never turn down an opportunity to try someone else's setup, or to try out their line (with or without their reel) on your rod. Only you can determine what's best for you - and even that will change as you get more time on the rod handle.

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